Sunderland AFC legend Kevin Ball is bringing his unique motivational perspective to Peterlee Business Park this week, to inspire young people to pursue apprenticeships and business to invest in them.
The former caretaker manager and former captain at the club is known for his leadership style and will address a 100-strong audience of local employers and schools about establishing and maintaining the right attitude to achieve your goals.
Organised by Peterlee Business Park Steering Group and SAFC charity Foundation of Light, the event on November 21 aims to show young people the opportunities in apprenticeships and for businesses to see the benefits in creating them.
Mr Ball, who joined Sunderland AFC in 1990, is also an ambassador of Foundation of Light and has developed a track record for youth and adult employability training.
Mr Ball said: “It’s so important to invest in young people and I know better than most that with the right attitude, willingness to work hard and support from the people around you, there will be opportunities to improve yourself and your skills so that the whole team of people around you will benefit.
“I have taken every opportunity which has come my way and am proud of everything I have achieved.
“The business community has a responsibility to invest in their wider environment and the skills of their future workforce, which will generate far reaching benefits to all of us in the future.
“Foundation of Light has an excellent track record of connecting businesses and industry with their local community and I’m proud to be representing them at this event.”
The is being held at Caterpillar’s Learning Centre of Light, which was opened by Foundation of Light five years ago.
The facility aims to help people secure employment and gain qualifications through its ‘World of Work’ programmes, as well as acting as a hub for other Foundation of Light educational and sporting activity in the region.
Phil King, Foundation of Light head of commercial, added: “We’re very grateful to Kevin for giving up his valuable time and the Peterlee Business Park Steering Group for the opportunity to showcase our work.
“For businesses it’s a great opportunity to learn how they can benefit partnering with Foundation of Light, and help by providing pathways for the young people and adults we work with in this area.”
The event, which is being sponsored by Peterlee company KF Training, will also shed light on the various training programmes that are available to businesses and employers, and will include a video demonstrating the practical side of apprenticeships featuring footage of and interviews with NSK Bearings, The Employability Trust, East Durham Business Service, KF Training and Automotive Solutions.
Steve Metcalfe is chairman of the Peterlee Business Park Steering Group and HR manager at NSK Bearings. He said: “It’s so important that businesses, many of whom have an ageing workforce, invest in young people to ensure that as their experienced workers retire, they have the talent ready to fill the gap left by them.
“It’s something that at NSK we place a huge amount of value on. Every year we look to increase the number of apprentices we recruit and now have around 10 employed across the business in Peterlee. Some of our most senior staff members, including our plant director, started out this way and are proof that if you have the right attitude and work ethic, you will be rewarded and could have a career for life.”